‘Leisure on Lockdown’ panel explores the lasting affect of COVID-19 on {industry} operations, illustration

As a result of the ongoing pandemic, the entertainment industry was forced to almost completely stop production. While the theater industry remains essentially inactive and personal productions are extremely limited, according to Ruthie Fierberg, BC ’10, film and television opportunities are beginning to emerge with strict COVID-19 protocols.

In a panel hosted by the Athena Film Festival titled “Entertainment on Lockdown: How COVID Changed the Industry”, three women who work in television, media and theater discussed the impact of COVID-19 on their respective areas and its impact on jobs and what the industry can look like after the pandemic.

Hosted by Elena Blekhter, BC ’10, a scripted podcast consultant to Spotify and more recently co-executive producer for Netflix’s new series, “Ginny and Georgia,” the panel examined the shift from March 2020 in-person production to remote work .

Fierberg, host of the Why We Theater podcast and former Executive Editor at Playbill, spoke about the large number of theater actors and crew members behind the scenes who are currently unemployed due to the closure of Broadway. Even so, she was optimistic about a staggered reopening of the shows, but admitted that smaller theaters in the community and in the region may not have the same opportunities.

“Broadway will be back. It is not a question of whether; It’s a question of when, ”said Fierberg. “These buildings are historic and many of them are listed so you don’t have to worry about someone taking back the space while smaller theaters on Broadway or in the area are unable to pay their rent to a landlord. they will close. “

Fierberg also noted that, unlike the gradual reopening of indoor restaurants and cinemas, operating with limited capacity for Broadway theaters is financially unsustainable.

“Socially distant theater is definitely not profitable. Ninety percent [capacity] Depending on how long they run, theaters are sometimes not profitable, ”said Fierberg. “The nonprofits will have an advantage here.”

Now television is very much alive – with security precautions. Kelly McCreary, BC ’03, best known for her role as Dr. Maggie Pierce in the medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” explained the series’ COVID-19 logs on set.

“The days are structured with a little less work while our hours are shorter – that is, keeping people healthy and making sure people can go home and rest,” noted McCreary. “In a way, it respects our humanity so much more than our habits in this industry in the past.”

Unlike many other TV shows, Grey’s Anatomy took over a COVID-19 storyline when production resumed in Fall 2020. McCreary explained this storyline adjustment as an opportunity to make a compelling statement about the pandemic and honor front workers.

“We have these meaningful connections to these people, to whom we keep paying lip service and saying, ‘Support them’ and ‘Encourage them’ [and] “Give our important people the resources they need, the emotional support, and everything,” said McCreary. “This was our way of actually putting our money where our mouths were and this season is really dedicated to the frontline health workers and telling their stories as they were told to us.”

In addition to Grey’s Anatomy, McCreary addressed the general surge in storytelling and creative opportunity due to the social isolation caused by the pandemic.

“Just look at TikTok: I mean, even bored people get incredibly creative and use their time to do things and express themselves and learn new skills so that they can create and express themselves. I don’t think that will go away. I think there is going to be a lot of really great content, ”said McCreary.

To wrap up the event, panelists looked at the rising awareness of racial injustice and violence against people of color that is at the forefront of entertainment in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement and industry-specific initiatives like We See You White, American Theater, a statement by the Anti-racism and representation demands by BIPOC theater artists on the American Theater.

“We were also awakened to the existence of the other pandemic that we have lived [through in] This country since its inception has been that of injustice and violence against non-white people in this country, especially black people … but [also] Almost every other non-white ethnic group, ”said McCreary. “I think there have been a lot of stories about communities that have been on the sidelines. [which] People have developed an appetite for hearing that I don’t think will go away. “

Kelli Herod, Vice President, Post Production at Smithsonian Channel, spoke about the importance of increased exposure, especially in the media. While the pandemic has shed light on the racial inequalities that exist in the industry, artists have made it their business to reinforce underrepresented voices.

“There are also [the fact that] COVID has affected the color communities a lot more so I think the storytelling aspect is … this exciting new change we are seeing, “Herod said. “I definitely hope it stays that way because if people can’t really see their stories or see themselves in the media, then other people can’t see their stories either. It’s just one more thing that stands between us all and really gets along. “

Assistant Editor Katie Levine can be contacted at katie.levine@columbiaspectator.com. Follow her on Twitter @itskatielevine.

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Medical consultants attempt to set up ‘lengthy Covid’ analysis for sufferers with lasting signs

Some Covid-19 patients suffer from shortness of breath, fatigue, headaches and “brain fog” for months to almost a year after their first illness. Now global medical experts are working to better diagnose and treat what they tentatively refer to as “long covid”.

Earlier this week, the World Health Organization hosted a global meeting with “patients, clinicians and other stakeholders” to improve the agency’s understanding of the post-Covid medical condition, also known as Long Covid, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Friday.

The meeting was the first of many to come. The goal will ultimately be to produce an “agreed clinical description” of the disease so that doctors can diagnose and treat patients effectively, he said. Given the number of people infected with the virus worldwide – nearly 108 million people as of Friday – Tedros warned that many of these persistent symptoms are likely to appear.

“This disease affects patients with severe and mild Covid-19,” Tedros said during a press conference at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva. “Part of the challenge is that long-term Covid patients can have a range of different symptoms that can be persistent or come and go.”

Limited dates

So far, there have been a limited number of studies that will determine what symptoms are most common and how long they might last. The main focus was on people with a serious or fatal illness, not people who have recovered but still report persistent side effects, sometimes referred to as “long distance riders”.

Most Covid patients are believed to recover only weeks after their initial diagnosis, but some have symptoms for six months or even almost a year, medical experts say.

One of the largest global studies on Long Covid Found published in early January that many people who suffer from persistent illness after infection cannot work full six months later. The study that was published on MedRxiv and not peer-reviewed, surveyed more than 3,700 people aged 18 to 80 from 56 countries to identify the symptoms.

The most common symptoms after six months were fatigue, post-exercise fatigue, and cognitive dysfunction, sometimes called brain fog.

Is that unique to Covid-19?

“We really don’t know what is causing these symptoms. That is a focus of research right now,” said Dr. Allison Navis, a professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, during a call to the Infectious Diseases Society of America on Friday.

“The question that arises is whether this is something that is unique to Covid itself – and it is the Covid virus that is causing these symptoms – or whether this could be part of a general post-viral syndrome,” Navis said, adding, that medical experts see similar long-term symptoms after other viral infections.

Another Study published in early January The Lancet medical journal examined 1,733 patients discharged from a hospital in Wuhan, China, between January and May last year. Of these patients, 76% reported at least one symptom six months after their first illness. The proportion was higher among women.

“We found that fatigue or muscle weakness, sleep disorders, and anxiety or depression were common even 6 months after symptoms appeared,” the researchers wrote in the study.

They found that symptoms reported months after a person was diagnosed with Covid-19 were consistent with data previously found in follow-up studies on severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), that is also a coronavirus.

Post-Covid clinics are going online

Some large medical centers are now creating Post-Covid clinics to care for patients with persistent symptoms. Navis said her clinic on Mount Sinai, New York treated a “fairly even” distribution of men and women with persistent illness, and the average age of patients was 40 years.

Dr. Kathleen Bell, a professor at the University of Texas’ Southwestern Medical Center, said her hospital’s long-term Covid-19 clinic began last April when a wave of infections hit Italy and New York at the start of the pandemic.

Bell said on the Infectious Diseases Society of America conference call on Friday that a number of professionals are required to staff the clinics because symptoms are uneven, including experts who can treat muscle weakness, heart-related disorders, and cognitive problems in the insane and health Problems after their diagnosis.

“It forces all of us, in many ways, to come together and make sure we have open lines of communication to address all of these issues for patients,” said Bell.

Bell added that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held a phone call in January with long Covid centers across the country to discuss their model for treating patients.

“I think the CDC is now trying to bring centers together and get some firmer guidelines on it, which is very exciting,” said Bell.

– CNBCs Sam Meredith contributed to this report.